...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Friday, July 15, 2005

What are you selling?

That's the question I keep in mind when surfing the Net. The Web is loaded with information. But marketing is so integrated into content now, with "product placement" and "branded entertainment" widespread and growing, and what I might call "sponsored information," and so many sites are run by people and organizations with ideological agendas, you are well advised to consider the source. Read the "about us" pages. Read who the org's "gold sponsors" are. I'm going to try to point to some of this information on this blog, because so much of it isn't obvious. Sponsored information is always crafted to present the sponsor in the most favorable light (which qualifies, in my book, as hype). Consider the source. Also, I object to WebMD.com's practice of presenting Google Ad links first on the screen on any search you make of their site for health information. I recently ran this search and the ads filled the screen, forcing me to scroll down for the "unsponsored" results--and I wasn't terribly impressed with the search results information WebMD provided when I got to them. Too general and incomplete. To be specific, I only discovered that chondroitin shouldn't be taken if you're taking aspirin or other blood thinners by going to the Arthritis Foundation site.

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